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Making more than 20 employees redundant? – an update

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01/11/2013

The Walker Morris Employment team has written separately on the important case of USDAW v WW Realisation 1 Ltd (the ‘Woolworths case’). In essence, following the EAT ruling, the law now is that employers must collectively consult with employee representatives as soon as more than 20 redundancies are proposed by one employer, regardless of the employees’ locations – the employees may be located in different establishments (or the same establishment, it is irrelevant). This means that the threshold of 20 can be reached very quickly.

However, the BIS was granted permission to appeal in September. The BIS maintains, in its own words, that the EAT “got the law wrong”.

WM comment
This is a very important case. If the BIS’s appeal is dismissed the burden on employers carrying out large-scale redundancies will be significantly increased. It will clearly need to be something that potential purchasers will factor into their considerations in an acquisition process and due diligence. We will keep you updated.

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